Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

One Nation – People – Under God

John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgToday is the 4th of July – Independence Day for our nation. One truth we learn from our history is that we were founded as a nation of faith in God – even as we allowed a variety of expressions of that faith. We didn’t mandate a certain form of faith – there was no state church per se – but our constitution quotes the King James Version of the Bible in places.

National prayer was a part of our society during our years of forming and for generations. Presidents and other officials of the state openly prayed and called the people to pray for our nation. Our nation turned to God and sought His face while desiring His grace.

In recent history we have seen a detailed and even planned effort to move our nation away from God. From removing prayer from our schools to the removing of the Ten Commandments from government offices to out and out persecution of people of faith by our society. A nation that turns from God will fall. A nation that turns their heart away from God will tumble. A people who do not rely on God – who are not tied into God as today’s passage indicates – will fall.

Jesus was teaching about His followers – His disciples – and He told them to remain in Him. John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If the United States continues on a path of separating themselves from God – they will wither and die – a branch detached from the vine.

The same can be said about my beloved United Methodist Church. When founded by John Wesley – we were a people who sought after personal holiness – personal relationship with Jesus Christ – based on the Word of God – the Bible. It seems to me – IMHO – that currently there are those who are trying to take our eyes off of Jesus and the Bible and put them on some new god – some new way. Some are trying to point us toward societal norms – toward the sinful ways of personal experience – rather than the truth of God’s Word. This is not a one issue statement – but rather a movement away from the authority of Scripture – from the authority of Orthodox Christianity.

If the church continues to uproot itself from the vine – from Jesus – we will continue to die as a denomination. As mainline denominations bow to the societal norms and independent churches rely on Jesus – we can see the mainline churches dying and the independent churches growing. Are we to learn nothing?

As a nation – as a church – as a people – we need to hear these words today – 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

It is not too late America! It is not too late UMC! We can humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. If we do – God has promised to forgive us and heal our land – our nation and denomination.

Will we continue to remove our nation – our church – our branch – from the vine – from God? Or will we repent and return to faithfulness – calling upon the name of the One and only? I’m an American and a United Methodist – but I am a Christian – a follower of Christ – before either of the former. There may come a day that following Christ will mean not following the former. I pray that time will not come – that we will repent and return to God!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


July 4, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. One thing I have noticed with sadness and chagrin about the cultural accommodationists in our own denomination is that they are so willing to follow society’s and government’s lead, rather than Jesus’ lead, the pioneer and perfector of our faith. The slogan of the American people during the Revolution was “No King but Jesus.” However, today’s liberal church leaders seem far to comfortable with going along to get along. At the heart of their apostasy is a turning away from scripture, tradition, and reason, and just focusing on experience.


    Comment by Favorite Son | July 4, 2014 | Reply

  2. Just a reminder. I will not post comments from anonymous posters. If you use a false name – you must use a good e-mail. If both are false – I will not post your comments. If you are not willing to stand behind what you post – it must not be worth reading.


    Comment by raymcdonald | July 8, 2014 | Reply

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